How to Tour Europe With a Family

How to Tour Europe With a Family
Traveling with children can be rewarding, if challenging. The key to a successful trip is planning. Think ahead and pack up needed supplies, arrange for appropriate transportation, and stay in child-friendly accommodations near interesting activities. You will be rewarded with with the enthusiastic response of your children as they bicycle, hike, and kayak around Europe.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Family travel

Things You’ll Need:
  • Travel documents Internet access Stroller Portable crib (optional) Car seat (optional)
  • Travel documents
  • Internet access
  • Stroller
  • Portable crib (optional)
  • Car seat (optional)
Step 1
Anticipate your needs for traveling and pack accordingly. Bring your car seat if the car rental company does not provide one. Take a stroller and use it in the airport while waiting for the flight. You might want to take a portable crib, so your child has a familiar place to sleep each night while traveling.
Step 2
Keep easy snacks such as raisins, Heinz dehydrated food and crackers handy, and use sippy cups to prevent spills. Think about first aid supplies, disposable wipes and other items you use regularly.
Step 3
Choose a redeye (nighttime) flight for long flights, so that the family can sleep while traveling. On land between cities, plan shorter trips to avoid the age-old question, "Are we there yet?" If possible, keep the kids up until a reasonable local bedtime, so they can wake up on the local schedule the next morning.
Step 4
Plan every detail of the trip so you can to avoid problems when you arrive in Europe. Select hotels that are close to daytime attractions, so that if you need to visit the hotel room for nap time or a change of clothes, it will be easily accessible. Better still, try to book villas in Italy and "gites" in France that often have kitchens and a homey feel. In restaurants, ask for a separate plate and share meals with small children to keep expenses down. For meals, creperies offer child-friendly options.
Step 5
Arrange for tours that are interesting for children as well as adults. The town of San Gimignano in Italy has 14 medieval bell towers where enemies got boiling oil poured down on them. Mountain bike rides on the city walls of nearby Lucca are fun for the whole family. In Pisa, kids will enjoy "holding up" the leaning tower in photographs, along with pizza making, Italian language lessons and gelato tasting. In France, show the children fields that are purple, kayak under a Roman aqueduct and explore "bories," strange mysterious stone circular huts. Chairlift and funicular rides high in the Alps are a great way to spend the day with the family in Switzerland.

Tips & Warnings

 
Leave plenty of time to get to the airport and through security at airports.
 
Leave plenty of time to get to the airport and through security at airports.
 
Make sure you have the proper documentation. Even babies need passports. Check out the car seat requirements in the countries you will visit.
 
Make sure you have the proper documentation. Even babies need passports.
 
Check out the car seat requirements in the countries you will visit.

Article Written By Sharon Penn

Sharon Penn is a writer based in South Florida. A professional writer since 1981, she has created numerous materials for a Princeton advertising agency. Her articles have appeared in "Golf Journal" and on industry blogs. Penn has traveled extensively, is an avid golfer and is eager to share her interests with her readers. She holds a Master of Science in Education.

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